Court rules Trump can not block critics on Twitter


A federal appeals court upheld a previous ruling that President Donald Trump engaged in unconstitutional discrimination by blocking dissenters on Twitter. Trump uses the account to announce, describe and defend his policies, and to announce official decisions.

The Emergency Planning and Security Fund will be depleted before the end of the 2019 fiscal year and will stand more than $6 million over budget, Bowser said in a letter to the President on Tuesday, citing recent estimates by the District's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

The ruling upheld a decision a year ago by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, who did not order Trump to unblock users but said people have a right to reply directly to politicians who use their accounts as public forums to conduct official business.

Politicians and social media - how do they get it so wrong? But here, the @realDonaldTrump account belongs to Donald Trump in his personal capacity and is subject to his personal control, not the control of the government.

The judges say they "conclude that once the President has chosen a platform and opened up its interactive space to millions of users and participants, he may not selectively exclude those whose views he disagrees with". His tweets are widely shared, sometimes hundreds of thousands of times, generating both deep praise and harsh criticism - all out on a free-for-all, no-holds-barred platform.

The Knight Institute said the ruling could set an important precedent as more public officials turn to social media for official business.

Ironically, the ruling comes following waves of claims made by public officials in the USA suggesting that some public officials - including President Trump's supporters from within the Republican party - have been "shadow banned" or otherwise silenced by social media platforms.

Tuesday's ruling upheld the May 2018 decision by a Federal District in NY that Trump can't block people.

As for Trump, it's unknown if the Justice Department will challenge this ruling and pave the way for the Supreme Court to potentially rule on the case.

Why can't Trump block who he wants?

Most of those, too, were unblocked, DeCell said. Parker said, noting that Trump subtracts from robust public discussion by blocking critics.

It follows a case brought on behalf of seven individuals who had been blocked by the president. In addition, it has sent letters to politicians in Nebraska and NY to unblock users or face lawsuits.

The President has had a bone to pick with the site, arguing that Twitter and Facebook are biased against him and fellow conservatives.

The Second Circuit Court, in affirming a previous ruling, noted that the president uses his Twitter account for official purposes, including the dissemination of policy and that the White House itself has described the account's content as official.

"We are disappointed with the court's decision and are exploring possible next steps".

Established in May 2016 by Columbia and the Knight Foundation, the Knight Institute aims to define and defend First Amendment issues in the digital media era of the 21st Century.